An Oral History of Second Generation American Estonians

Jan 21, 2015

Maarja_Stanfordi_Ulikoolis_webAfter doing extensive archival research on American Estonians at the Immigration History Research Center and Archives as a University of Minnesota Fulbright scholar, Maarja Merivoo-Parro realized the need to do interviews as well. A 2014 AABS dissertation grant will allow Maarja, a PhD candidate at Tallinn University, to conduct an oral history project with Estonians living in the states of California, Oregon and Washington.

My research is focused on the second generation of refugee Estonians in Cold War America. I am interested in the people who had no memories of Estonia proper but were taught everything they knew about the country and its people through formal, informal and non-formal educational activities. Some of these activities were community-based, others relied on relationships within the family, and yet others were more individualized. I chose the Pacific coast because it is an underrepresented region in the context of Estonian diaspora studies.